This guest post was written by Rachel Cousins from hungryhouse, the UK’s leading online takeaway platform that features restaurants across the country including Glasgow, Birmingham and Nottingham. I’ve used this service in the past to order from the vegan menu at The Grove Cafe in Leeds.
Rachel gives a fantastic overview of the recent Vegan & Vegetarian Summer Festival in Berlin. It sounds like a lot of fun and only increases my desire to visit this city.
Take it away, Rachel!
I’ve just come back from Berlin after my yearly visit (great city!) and managed to visit the vegan/vegetarian festival, which is held every year. Last year was my first time at the festival and it sadly rained which resulted in less visitors and being poked numerous times by umbrellas. This year the sun fortunately had his hat on so it was a lot more enjoyable.
It was impressive to see how many people turned out! Even if some of them aren’t veggie or vegan it was great to see them being curious and finding out more about the lifestyle. Even with the portable meat hotdog people walking around trying to entice people, it seemed that many visitors wanted to give the vegan hotdogs a chance.
This year was the fifth festival and was held at Alexanderplatz, right in the centre of Berlin. The square was packed full of stalls, stands and performers. The stage hosted everything imaginable – a cooking show, interviews, showcases, poems, readings and so much more.
The festival went on from 10am until 9pm so we made sure to arrive around midday so that the vegan products weren’t all sold out. I was ecstatic to find vegan marshmallows (albeit a tad expensive, but what the heck – it helps the animals!). We enjoyed the live music of ‘Orpheus and the Sea’ (who coincidentally come from Doncaster, which isn’t far from me – the world is small).
We spent some time in the info tent collecting leaflets and stickers and having a good old chat with the organisers. We tried our luck on the raffle where the main prize was a food processor – we sadly didn’t win, but maybe that’s for the best as I don’t know how we’d have got it home anyway. I really pigged out because the food was so tasty that we just couldn’t resist! We had a vegan hot dog each which tasted so much like the real thing I wondered if one of the portable meat hotdog guys had slipped some of his on the grill!
I also sampled a green smoothie from the drink stall which tasted a bit like soil, but I was assured it was packed full of vitamin goodness and it was really filling too, which I didn’t really want at the time because I still had many vegan delicacies that I planned on devouring.
The carrot cake was next on my list (after a thirty-minute break) and it was heavenly! I made the mistake of walking past the ‘Lush’ stall (of the company) whilst eating and I can tell you that a strong smell of soap accompanying your baking goods isn’t the most pleasant experience!
On coming back we realised that there were a few stalls that we’d missed. One of which was called ‘Other Nature’ and specialised in sex toys! I’m not kidding – they really did have everything a vegan could want at this festival!
I’m definitely going to make sure that my annual Berlin visit corresponds with this festival. Here’s the festival’s website if anyone is interested in visiting the land of the sausage…vegan sausage, of course!
Veganism and vegetarianism are both on the rise in Berlin (I guess they’re happy to ditch their traditional Wurst!). Each year I see that new shops (e.g. vegan shoe shops) and restaurants have popped up to satisfy the growing need for cruelty-free products. Even the vegetarian gummy bear shop has started catering for vegans!